17 March 2016

Waterford Blaas - Irish Blaas - Yeast Buns

Waterford Blaas - Irish Blaas / www.delightfulrepast.com

The Waterford Blaa (pronounced "blah"), Ireland's only indigenous yeast bread, has just this week come to my attention and, of course, I had to make a batch straight away. I adapted my recipe for the floury white yeast buns from one in the UK newspaper, London Evening Standard

They're mainly served for breakfast, either as a buttered roll or as a breakfast sandwich filled with bacon (Irish back bacon), egg (fried) and sausage. Bacon and sausage is a bit extreme for me; when ordering the Full English I always ask for just bacon.

I've written the recipe for the stand mixer, though it can quite easily be made by hand. And I've added lots of details so that even if you've never made yeast doughs you will have success. Since "Waterford blaa" is a name with protected designation status (like the Melton Mowbray pork pie or Roquefort cheese), I'm just calling my recipe Irish blaas. But there's nothing "blah" about these buns! 

They've been around since the 17th century, so I'm a bit late to this party! If you're out of yeast or just looking for something a bit quicker, try my Irish Brown Soda Bread. And, in case your oven is otherwise occupied, here's the Irish Soda Bread - Slow Cooker Version.

Waterford Blaas - Irish Blaas / www.delightfulrepast.com

Waterford Blaas - Irish Blaas

(Makes 8 large buns)

3 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (17.5 ounces/500 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams) sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons (10 grams) salt
1 tablespoon (9 grams) instant yeast
1 1/4 cup (10 fluid ounces/283 grams or ml) water
1 tablespoon (0.5 ounce/14 grams) unsalted butter

1 Measure flour into the bowl of the stand mixer; remove 3/4 cup (3.75 ounces/106 grams) and set it aside. (That will make sense to you if you are a weigher rather than a measurer.) Add sugar, salt and instant yeast to mixing bowl, and whisk to combine. Attach the flat beater and mixer bowl to the mixer. Heat the water and butter until quite warm, about 120F/49C to 130F/54C. On speed 2, mix in the warm liquid until thoroughly mixed. Remove the flat beater. Cover mixing bowl and let dough rest for 20 minutes. 

2 Attach the dough hook. On speed 2, add about 2/3 of the reserved flour (1/2 cup/2.5 ounces/71 grams) until dough forms a smooth ball that cleans the bowl. Continue kneading for 2 minutes, adding flour (from the remaining 1/4 cup) just 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl. Set the timer for 4 minutes and knead the dough on speed 3. (My stand mixer, the Cuisinart SM-55, actually has a built-in timer.)

Note: The reason for all this gradually adding of the flour is that more bread has been ruined by the adding of too much flour than any other single cause. If some is kept back to be used in the kneading and shaping (and, in this case, the flouring of the pan and tops of buns), you avoid the problem.

3 Lightly oil a bowl or other container, preferably with straight sides (I use a 2-quart glass measure). Put the ball of dough in it, turning dough to oil all sides, cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 30* minutes, or until doubled.

* It's a very quick rise with this quantity of yeast. If you wish to slow down the rises, cut back on the yeast. I'm never in this much of a hurry so will cut this back to not more than 2 teaspoons next time. 

4 Line a 13x9x1-inch quarter-sheet pan with parchment paper; dust it with about 2 teaspoons of the remaining flour (a little fine mesh tea strainer works well). Turn risen dough out onto lightly floured (still from that remaining 1/4 cup) surface, flattening gently to break up any large bubbles. Divide* dough into 8 equal pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the others covered. Roll each piece into a smooth ball, place on prepared baking sheet (in 2 rows of 4 buns). Press them down gently with palm of your hand to flatten them a bit so that they are touching.

* I'm a rather precise person, so I always use my OXO Good Grips 11-Pound Digital Scale to divide the dough precisely, making sure all my loaves and rolls are the same size. The pieces of dough in this recipe were 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) each.

5 Cover buns loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes, or until doubled.

6 During the last 20 minutes, heat oven to 400F/200C/Gas6. Just before you put the buns in the oven, remove the plastic and dust them liberally with flour from the remaining. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, until golden. Leaving buns on the parchment paper, transfer them to wire rack. Serve warm or room temperature. If storing, cool completely before wrapping.

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Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

What? The Irish Gift-of-Gab, my forebears, came up with “blah” for a brand? Puh…puh, I say, it should’ve been something like Faerie Manna. Ah, well, it just may be as good as an English biscuit, especially if slathered with butter. St. Paddy Seal of Approval…

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, laddie! There's a bit of controversy about the origin of the name, so I didn't get into it.

Pauline Wiles said...

Oh, I can almost smell it from here. Looks wonderfully soft and springy, just as bread should be!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Pauline. They are! I'm going to have one in a few minutes with a cup of tea while I chat on the phone with a friend in another state.

Kathy Walker said...

There is nothing better than homemade yeast rolls! Fresh from the oven with butter melting on them....yum!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I agree, Kate! Much better than dessert!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

This is a new bread to me, Jean, but thanks for telling us about it and sharing the recipe. I'm always up for making a new bread. I made some soda bread today.
Happy St. Paddy's Day! ☘

Antiques And Teacups said...

How wonderful to find that recipe! There really isn't anything as good as fresh bread and butter! Thanks so much for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kitty, isn't it fun finding something you've never even heard of?! I was so excited. Love soda bread, too!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ruth, thank YOU! I found an "authorized" baker of blaas on Twitter today, too!

Pondside said...

Thank you for your visit - it has given me a chance to visit your blog. I will be back and am about to follow...........

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Pondside, thank you so much! I do hope you'll enjoy Delightful Repast.

Angie's Recipes said...

These dinner buns look really soft!

TONY said...

Here is part 1 of a poem by Seamus Heaney called Mossbawn. It commemorates his mother, Mary Heaney. It is about love and dedication and skill and a whole lot of things but it is about baking bread in an Irish kitchen. All the best, Tony
I. Sunlight
There was a sunlit absence.
The helmeted pump in the yard
heated its iron,
water honeyed

in the slung bucket
and the sun stood
like a griddle cooling
against the wall

of each long afternoon.
So, her hands scuffled
over the bakeboard,
the reddening stove

sent its plaque of heat
against her where she stood
in a floury apron
by the window.

Now she dusts the board
with a goose's wing,
now sits, broad-lapped,
with whitened nails

and measling shins:
here is a space
again, the scone rising
to the tick of two clocks.

And here is love
like a tinsmith's scoop
sunk past its gleam
in the meal-bin.

TONY said...

Just a thought Jean. I see you read The London Evening Standard.It is a free newspaper over here nowadays. We used to have to buy it but it increased its number of pages and filled them with adverts. The standard of journalism has always been high. It used to be worth reading for opinion and analysis.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, they do have a wonderful texture!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Tony, for introducing me to Seamus Heaney. I don't read a lot of poetry, but I can't think why not, as I always enjoy it when I do. Love the "floury apron," but may I never be "broad-lapped" with "measling shins"!

Daniela said...

Another irresistible temptation is what you propose us today, my dearest one, I love every kind of bread !
My notebook is becoming bloated more and more with your recipes, each one better than the other, and I'm so grateful to you for this, dearest Jean !

I wish you a most wonderful weekend ever, sweet friend,
sending blessings of joy to you


Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Dany! And you would notice that I got into a bit of history -- 17th century!

Cocoa and Lavender said...

I think I will love these, Jean! And I love the poem Tony published, too!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, I think you will as well! Isn't that a great poem!

Art and Sand said...

I haven't made bread or rolls in years, but your recipe sounds and looks delicious. I might have to give the blaas a try.

Thanks for sharing at SYC.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Art and Sand! Hope you will. Easy and quite quick with all that yeast.

Miz Helen said...

This is my weakness and it looks fabulous! Hope you have a very special week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Miz Helen, thank you so much. I say that about bread, too. Did you see Lark Rise to Candleford? I believe it was the postmistress who called *many* things her "one weakness." :-)


I love Irish soda bread even though I'm not Irish, at all!
I just baked it for St. Pat's and hubby likes it a lot and so did my grandgirls.
I'd love to try your brown recipe.
Happy Easter.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Fabby, I hope you will try my Irish Brown Soda Bread recipe. It has a wonderful texture that rivals that of a yeast bread.

Swathi said...

Jean this Irish blaas in my do list I will try it, I couldn't do it before St Paddy. I will do it before next one. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop. pinning and tweeting.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Swathi, thank you. I hope you'll make it well before the next holiday! I'll be making it often.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I don't recall hearing the name of these buns when we were Ireland but they sure look delicious to make.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Judith, I've never been to Waterford (or any other part of Ireland), but I'd love to go!

Sippity Sup said...

I have to ask how well these buns travel because my "buns" are back in Los Angeles from Nicaragua and are heading to Florida tomorrow. I'm spending my one morning home to catch up on my favorite blogs. There won't be anything so delicious on my flight... GREG

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Greg, thanks so much! Why ever would you take off on another flight right after the one from Nicaragua?! I know -- because you are a better traveler than I am; an airplane seat is a torture chamber to me! :D

Stacey said...

Jean, I just checked back at Thoughts of Home on Thursday and realized I missed your post. So sorry about that! I'm thrilled that you joined us and hope you'll come back again. :)


Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Stacey! Appreciate the Pin, too!

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Oh yum! These look so delicious. I have a weakness for a good roll with butter. Thanks for sharing with STC Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jann! Yes, bread (and rolls) are my one weakness. :D

riitta k said...

Looks sooo good and delicious!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Riitta, thank you. I think you might be my very first commenter from your country!

Gabrielle said...

You've done a brilliant job - this bread looks delicious! There's something very appealing about a bun with the simple addition of butter :)


Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Gabrielle, thank you! I agree and think a really good bread or bun needs no more than the simple addition of butter.

April J Harris said...

Jean, your Irish Blaas look beautiful! I hadn't heard of them either, but I do think I have eaten them on visits to Ireland. I just didn't realise what they were called. They are absolutely delicious and I can't wait to give your recipe a try. Thank you for sharing it with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop. Sharing!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thanks so much! Your shares are really appreciated! Sometimes I wish I weren't quite so fond of bread, and perhaps I overdo it on the blog, but there you have it!

Christine | Mid-Life Croissant said...

These are so beautiful. I am loving imagining them with a cup of tea. And butter. Lots of butter. Thanks for linking up at #SaucySaturdays.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Christine. Isn't "bread" just the best food group ever!